Lithuania Mints First Euro Coin With Hebrew Letters

Both sides of a commemorative 10 euro coin celebrating the 300th birthday of the Vilna Gaon in Lithuania. (Courtesy of the Bank of Lithuania).

The Bank of Lithuania minted the first Euro piece of currency containing Hebrew letters.

The 10-euro coin was minted on Tuesday and is a limited-edition commemorative collector’s item celebrating the 300th anniversary of the birth of the Vilna Gaon,
(the Gra) the 18th-century rabbinical luminary Elijah ben Solomon Zalman, who
lived and died in the Lithuanian capital of Vilnius.

The Vilna Gaon is considered one of the greatest Torah geniuses and authorities of
the last several centuries. His knowledge encompassed perfect and detailed command
of the Torah, the Talmud, Halacha and Kabbalah, as well as expertise at mathematics, science, medicine and other areas. His works have been studied and revered for centuries by virtually all religious Jews, from Torah students to the greatest Rabbinic authorities.

The heads side of the coin features the Hebrew letter shin, whose value according to the gematria alphanumeric code is 300, followed by the acronym in Hebrew of Gaon Rabbi Elijah. The tails’ rim reads in Hebrew: “The year of the Vilna Gaon and the history of the Jews of Lithuania.”

The commemoration of individual people is very rare on bank notes and coins of the European Union, partly because of the political sensitivity in a political union made up of former foes.

Earlier this month, a mural of the late Israeli poet Leah Goldberg, who grew up in Kaunas, was unveiled there along with other notable individuals connected to the city ahead of its crowning as Cultural Capital of Europe in 2022.

Separately, a monument for Holocaust victims that was smashed and knocked over in the Lithuanian city of Kaunas was restored on October 9, the news site reported.


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